Faith is your gift from God that delivers you to victory. It’s a gift with unlimited potential. One of the greatest ways to grow in faith is through Bible Reading. But not in the sense of obligated reading or slogging through things that don’t make sense. You grow in faith when you read the Bible like you are reading letters from a loved one. World War II illustrates this perfectly.
Faith-building Bible Reading: Letters of Love
Did you know soldiers and their loved ones exchanged over two billion pieces of mail in 1945? Lovers shared their hearts, parents poured out love and encouragement, soldiers gulped hope from those letters. We are soldiers for Christ who need sustenance for the battlefield of life.
What do you imagine happened when a war-time letter arrived, at home or on the battlefield? Undoubtedly, a rush of love welled up with all its emotions: joy, thankfulness, anticipation! I can see the recipients in my mind’s eye, holding the letter, feeling the love it contains, smelling the pages for a scent of their beloved. Bible Reading that grows your faith and leads you to victory looks the same!
The Bible is a massive love letter from Genesis to Revelation. Bible Reading as communication from the One who loves you best grows your faith! Reading it just for facts or history puts you in enemy territory; it grows your knowledge about God but not your faith in God. Satan and his demons know about God, but they don’t have faith (trust) in Him. To grow in faith through Bible reading, you read the Bible to know God’s heart of love. And His love is on every page.
Designed to Be Hungry for Bible Reading
More great news! You don’t need to ‘drum up’ a hunger for God’s Word. God designed you to crave Him! Blaise Pascal, a 17th century scientist, puts it this way: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”
Just as your physical body enjoys good food – a tender, juicy steak or grilled salmon and fresh tomatoes from the garden – your spirit craves the Word of God, who is the eternal, living Christ!
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 NLT)
That God-given craving prepared you to accept Christ in the first place. Now, God expects you to nurture the living Christ within you and reveal Jesus to this lost and dying world. To grow in faith is the key to nurturing Christ’s life within you – and the written word is His necessary nourishment. Christ showed us that in His earthly life. Immediately after His baptism, Jesus told Satan:
It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4)
Later He told his disciples:
I have food to eat that you do not know about. (John 4:32 NASB)
Grow in Faith
The written Word of God nourished the living Christ then, and it nourishes His life within you today. Jesus came to this world as a baby – and grew physically and spiritually. For you to ‘grow in faith’ follows the same process. Salvation births Jesus into your life. You nourish His life just as He nourished Himself in the first century: by knowing and doing the Word of God. As your faith grows through Bible Reading, the evidence of Christ within you becomes clear to all around you.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 KJV)
Your faith is vital and precious – worthy of every investment of time and energy!
- It is the foundation of your salvation (Ephesians 2:8,9);
- It is the only way to please God (Hebrews 11:6);
- It is the vehicle for answered prayers (James 1:5-8).
The Apostle Peter tells us that genuine faith is more precious than gold! The life you long to live already lives within you. When you grow in faith through Bible reading, that life bursts forth!
Billie Jo Youmans is Content Coordinator and Assistant Staff Writer for Inspiration Ministries.
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